Workplace relationships impact self-rated health: a survey of Swedish municipal health care employees

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BACKGROUND: The impact of positive social relationships on the health of municipal employees in the elder care sector in Sweden needs further examination.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the association between health and relationships among elderly care employees using a salutogenic perspective.

METHOD: Survey of all employees (n = 997) in special housing, home care and Disabled Support and Services in a Swedish municipality. The questionnaire, which had a salutogenic perspective, included information on self-rated health from the previously validated SHIS (Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale), psychosocial work environment and experiences, social climate, and health-promoting workplace relationships.

RESULTS: The response rate was 69% . Results of a multivariable linear regression model showed four significant predictors of health: general work experiences, colleague belongingness and positive relationships with managers and care recipients. In another model, colleague belongingness was significantly related to satisfaction with care recipients, work, length of employment as well as general work experiences and relationships with managers.

CONCLUSION: Strengthening of positive work relationships, not only between workmates but also with managers and care recipients, seems to be an essential area for employee health promotion. Colleague belongingness may be deepened by development of a positive work climate, including satisfactory work experiences, positive manager relationships and a stable work force.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages9
JournalWorkA journal of Prevention, Assessment and rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)


  • Health promotion
  • belongingness
  • questionnaire
  • salutogenic


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